Tompkins County Public Library

Friday, October 14, 2016

Patron Comments September-October 2016

Comment:  Please move the new painting (now on the back corner of the building) to a more visible location.  It is too important a message and too beautiful to be in the back.
Response:  We’re so glad to hear that you love our “Ezra Cornell” mural as much as we do!  One of the driving factors behind this beautiful piece—created by artist Nestor Madalengoitia—was our desire to make the back of our building more recognizable, since there it doesn’t have any library signage.  We are hopeful that our entire community will take the time that you did to view and appreciate this special work of art.
Comment:  Thanks for bringing “The New Jim Crow” to the community, and they’re all off the shelf very fast.  The community is really alert and has had a strong response to the Community Read.  I hope to see more from you!
Response:  We are honored to be able to partner with the Multicultural Resource Center to bring “The New Jim Crow” Community Read to our patrons.  We had nearly two hundred copies of the book in circulation, and within just a few days, our patrons had embraced the Read and checked out every single one—what a tremendous testament to our community!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Patron Comments May and June 2016

Comment:  The third stall in the bathroom for women has been unrepaired for over a year now. There were a few women turned away as the stalls were busy for a long time.  This has happened to me repeatedly.  There used to be a policy for the children’s bath in case of emergencies—which I had.  Please change this shameful situation.
Response:  We appreciate your candor and willingness to share your feedback.  We recognize the need for renovations to our restrooms and are working with the Tompkins County Facilities Department to develop a timeline for these necessary repairs.  In the meantime, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Comment:  Stephen Salino should get much praise.  He has been very helpful and kind!
Response:  Thank you so much for taking the time to share your kind words about Stephen.  He has been a tremendous addition to our staff, and we are delighted to hear that you have enjoyed interacting with him during your library visits.  Our staff members are truly dedicated to making our library a special place to visit! 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Patron Comments March-April 2016

Comment:  I just wanted to mention how unpleasant I find the painting of a large red rifle that “killed 17 people.”  The image and information is out of place in a public library.
Response:  Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback about our recent art exhibit, “Project for a Re-Volution in New York.”  As a public library, we find ourselves at the center of many important and thought-provoking community conversations.  While the services and collections we provide are carefully selected to serve as a reflection of our community’s needs, we also feel very strongly that we shouldn’t censor art, books or music based on personal preference or political ideas. In the case of this exhibit, Curator Todd Ayoung asked artists to translate their perceptions of the word “revolution” into art.  The result was an eclectic exhibit with 22 different perspectives, including the painted guns placed throughout the stacks.  Though uncomfortable for some, housing an exhibit of this type within the library allows for a safe place for community members to hold important, difficult discussion about societal trends and issues.  We hope you will consider joining us later this spring when we host a presentation about public art, its roles and responsibilities.  Please know how much we appreciate your thoughtful comments.  They will help us as we plan for future exhibits.

Comment:  Order more books for the STEAM Book Club.
Response:  We are delighted to hear of your interest in our Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Book Club.  We truly believe that programs like this one will prove instrumental in helping prepare young adults for the high school, college and beyond.  A relatively new program, the Club has been gaining “steam” of its own in recent weeks, which has resulted in the need to order additional copies for interested patrons.  Please know that we want as many students to attend as possible and will always order additional copies to accommodate interested participants.

Comment:  Label the Comment Box.
Response:  Thank you for this practical suggestion!  We’re glad you were able to find the box so that you could share your feedback!   We will be happy to create signage to make locating the box easier.

Comment:  Audio recording for phone messages needs improvement.
Response:  Thanks for sharing your concerns about our recorded phone greeting.  We are always looking for ways to make contacting and communicating with the library easier for our patrons.  Please contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at to offer additional insight into the improvements you would like to see.

Comment:  Put a recycling bin up front.
Response:  As a leader in our community’s sustainability movement, we are delighted to receive your request to make recycling easier during your visits to TCPL.  We will be happy to add an additional recycling bin to our lobby,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Patron Comments March 2016

Comment:  On library email notices, please reverse your message.  State items out and their due dates first, followed by items being automatically renewed.  This would draw attention to items not renewed and due sooner.
Response:  Thank you for your thoughtful suggestion.  We are delighted to be able to offer automatic renewals to our patrons and pleased that you use email notifications to keep your account current.  We will reach out to our colleagues at the Finger Lakes Library System, as they manage our electronic account notifications, and ask that they explore the possibility of a change of this type.  We appreciate your suggestion, and are constantly looking at ways to enhance and enrich library services.

Comment:  I’m really not comfortable with the depictions of guns scattered throughout the library.  There are too many youth in this community who would take that as glorifying the use of guns.  It’s disturbing, but then, I guess it is supposed to be.
Response:  Thank you for sharing your concerns about our current art exhibit, “Project for a Re-Volution in New York.”  The wooden guns scattered throughout our stacks depict the models of weapons used in mass shootings in the United States during recent years.  We feel strongly that the public library is a neutral space for important, and often difficult, community conversations; however, we did take extreme care to keep this particular installation limited to areas of the library less frequented by young patrons.  We are fortunate to be able to bring thought-provoking, museum-quality art exhibits to our community and appreciate that you have taken the time to explore the exhibit and share your concerns.  We will use this feedback as we select future exhibits.

Comment:  People know urine from the men’s room floor is frequently tracked onto the carpet.  I don’t know if it is ever shampooed.  Please put in tile (cheaper) floor and people will feel much better. 
Response: Please be assured that cleanliness is extremely important to all of us at TCPL. Our dedicated Facilities team works diligently to keep the library looking beautiful for nearly 400,000 visitors each year.  Even after 15 years, regular shampooing has helped to keep our carpets relatively stain-free. As part of our upcoming renovations, however, our wall-to-wall carpeting will be replaced with removable carpet squares—making the replacement of worn or damaged sections easier and more affordable. 

Comment:  Change your hours.  I work during the day.  Stay open until 11 p.m.!
Response:  We appreciate your request and share your desire for extended library hours.  While current funding limitations prevent us from offering additional hours at this time, we have recently expanded our daily hours and are currently open on Sundays.  Please visit our website for more information about our hours and services.
Comment:  Hi!  Please change the self-checkout program in the kids’ area, so that it is like the one in the adult area—no bees, ants or ladybugs on the screen.  Such distractions are pointless and contribute to ADD and just plain old distraction.  I want my daughter to learn to be focused, not scatter-brained and unable to concentrate.  Thanks for being an awesome library!  PS—Fewer screens throughout the library would be most appreciated.
Response:  Thank you for your feedback and for helping your daughter to establish a lifelong love of literacy and learning through regular visits to the library.  The goal of our Youth Services staff is to make the library accessible and enjoyable to children and families at every age and every stage.  While some parents and young patrons prefer to browse and borrow from our expansive print collection, others find learning opportunities through our digital offerings. We want our youngest users to feel that our Youth Services Department is truly a place where they are encouraged to learn, play and explore at their own pace and with tools designed specifically for them. However, our entire collection, and the self-checkouts in the adult section are available for those who require or prefer less visual stimulation.  Please visit us often and continue to encourage your daughter to celebrate the magic of reading!